Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for winning the state assembly elections a record fifth time in a row. "Congratulations to Naveen Babu for yet another victory in Odisha. Wishing him the very best for the next term," PM Modi tweeted.
The BJP is heading for a remarkable tally in Odisha, where it is leading in 7 of 21 Lok Sabha seats. The state's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is ahead in 14.
For the BJP, which won just one seat in 2014, it is a big improvement.
As the vote count for the 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly seats began in Odisha on Thursday morning, initial trends showed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading in Lok Sabha seats while the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Assembly.
BJP's Dhenkanal candidate Rudra Narayan Pani and Nabarangpur candidate Balabhadra Majhi were leading in these Lok Sabha seats. BJP candidate Aparajita Sarangi was leading in Bhubaneswar.
However, BJD's Pramila Bisoi was leading in Aska Lok Sabha seat.
BJD's Pinaki Mishra, who is contesting against BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, is also leading.
Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJD is leading in Cuttack. Kalikesh Singh Deo of the BJD is leading in Bolangir.
The BJD took lead in eight Assembly seats while the BJP was close second at 4.
In 2014, Mr Patnaik's BJD had swept the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, winning 20 out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats.
The poll of polls, the aggregate of exit polls, had last week predicted a neck and neck fight in Odisha.
The BJP is performing well in most of the states and is likely to reach close to the halfway mark of its own. The National Democratic Alliance is expected to cross 300 comfortably.
The BJP, which had won only two seats in West Bengal in 2014, is neck and neck with the Trinamool. The party is also leading in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where it had lost assembly polls last year.